Original post (See update below): Taliban fighters in Afghanistan murdered and beheaded 17 people over the weekend, reportedly for throwing a party with music, dancing, and mingling of men and women. The bodies of 15 men and two women were found in Helmand province on Monday, in an area that even the provincial governor admits is under the control of the Taliban. The Taliban outlawed most music and socializing between unmarried men and women when they ruled the country in the late 1990s.
Elsewhere, the "green on blue" attacks continue to plague NATO and American forces as two more soldiers, both Americans, were shot dead by an Afghan fighter they were working with in Laghman province. That would bring the number of deaths of foreign troops at the hands of "friendly" Afghan soldiers to 42 this year, arguably making the government troops they work alongside the most dangerous part of serving in Afghanistan these days. NATO soldiers are now told to be armed at all times, even in their own base, as the task of training and handing over power to local troops is continually compromised by enemies infiltrating their ranks. Also on Monday, an Afghan army in the same province as the beheading incident was overrun by Taliban fighters who were apparently aided by soldiers already inside the base.
UPDATE: Al Jazeera is now reporting that the victims were not beheaded and it may not have even been a party. Their sources claim it was a dispute between rival Taliban commanders who were fighting over the women. (Who they also killed.) BBC says they were "either beheaded or had had their throats cut."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.